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Whether you're just starting or building your career, you've undoubtedly faced new challenges that no textbook or classroom could have prepared you for.
Using a simple set of core principles can help you start and build your career.
Treat your career lifecycle as a company.
At each phase, you will encounter a variety of difficult and new decisions.
Traditionally, people have turned to mentorship to guide them through the uncharted waters. A better approach is building a personal board of 5 -10 advisors comprising of individuals (not family) from varying backgrounds willing to give you raw feedback.
The “frog” is a complex or annoying task your boss doesn’t want to do. However, that frog is your opportunity to get ahead early in your career.
Establish a decentralised friend group to learn from and grow with. Interacting with this group will expose you to new ideas, industries, and opportunities.
Features of a decentralised friend group:
If you can sell, you'll always make it. Selling means learning to tell a compelling, convincing story. The more you progress in any field, the more of your job becomes sales:
The biggest mistake young people make early in their careers is to prioritise salary. Instead, think long-term.
A foundation-building experience will be more effective than extra money. What are the opportunities, experiences, and relationships that will build the strongest foundation for your future?
When you start, you won't be good at most things. Most jobs are apprenticeship-oriented. You have to learn by following and doing, meaning you will make mistakes. That's ok.
What's not ok is not owning your mistakes or making the same mistake twice. So when you make a mistake, own it and build a system to avoid it in the future.
In every company, there are certain rooms where the big stuff happens: The important negotiations, the critical decisions, or the conflicts and debates.
Find these rooms and ensure to get in there. It could be as simple as offering to take notes and send around action items. Then, when you're in the room, listen and observe. You will get a huge learning experience.
T-Shaped knowledge has breadth & depth.
Ensure you are building breadth and depth. Breadth makes you an asset to an organisation, while depth makes you critical to your organisation.
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